Digital TransformationStrategy & LeadershipMarketing planning goals: Past, present, and future

Marketing planning goals: Past, present, and future

Marketing planning goals have undergone quite the changes over the years. From year-end analyses to now instant, new tech continues to change the game.

Depending on your product, you’ve probably got a “busy season,” that time of year when you do a huge product push. For example, Halloween is the sweet season time for candymakers, while potato chips companies probably keep their eyes on Super Bowl season.

But unfortunately for most of these marketers, there’s no word on how those campaigns are actually going until after the season ends. The post-rush post-mortem is all too often full of coulda, shoulda, wouldas.

However, it doesn’t have to be. New technology has made data analysis easier than ever before.

So instead of waiting for a yearly lookback of successes and failures, forward-focused weekly plans could make it easier to course correct campaigns in real time.

Content produced in collaboration with Keen.

Past: Planning in terms of years

In the past, planning meant introducing a campaign with a launch-weighted media buy and then pulling out all the stops to breakthrough and ensure consumers actually saw your ad.

Then, marketers would be forced to wait a year in order to get all the metrics to form a clear picture of how well the campaign was received.

Unimpressive ROIs meant lots of retroactive stress for errors that couldn’t be course corrected. And those were followed by interdepartmental finger-pointing over whether the campaign was any good in the first place, or if the channels you invested in were the right place for your content.  

It sounds exhausting just reading about all the things that can go wrong with a campaign over the course of a year. That’s why it makes much more sense to use new technology to measure and optimize campaigns in real-time, giving marketing teams plenty of time to adjust and restructure plans to achieve the biggest impact on sales.

Present: Measuring week to week

Data is a great thing to have, but too much of a good thing can be completely overwhelming. For years, most of us have invested in new and better data sources. And where we used to have a scant few insights into what consumers liked and disliked, now we’ve got so many insights that they’ve become hard to track, making analysis time-consuming and often irrelevant by the time answers are uncovered.

However, better tools mean better data analysis for more accurate, real-time insights. Today’s technology enables marketers to optimize plans week to week and easily institute changes as market conditions change.

For example, holistic data visualization tools can send daily updates about your company’s content volume, website traffic, open rates, and more.

Visual heatmap tools can help you see in real time which parts of your website visitors are responding to.

And unified marketing measurement platforms can accurately calculate financial contribution across all your marketing channels, be they digital, traditional or trade, for an an optimized weekly plan that specifies channel, investment and timing.

Data optimization platforms make that abundance of data actionable so that marketers can instantly spot trends and patterns. With that information, they can make better strategic decisions about where to invest their next dollar, even as their campaigns unfold. Unified measurement platforms measure short- and long-term profitability, so your plan delivers demonstrable brand value, not just a short-term ROI boost.

These tools put marketers in the driver’s seat with their eyes on the road, rather than on the rearview mirror. Marketing plans can stay on track by adjusting for problems as they arise, instead of dissecting them after the fact. Plus, optimizing on a weekly basis, instead of annually, enables marketers to accelerate campaigns while minimizing the risk and the cost of veering off course.

Future: Using new tools for more effective campaigns

If planning week-to-week is so much more effective, then why isn’t everyone doing it? Simple, until now, tools have been too costly and data has simply been too difficult to wrangle.

Measures for campaign success were often one-dimensional and took months to analyze.

However, using burgeoning technology to get a dynamic overview of all facets of a campaign is within closer reach than ever before.

Dynamic data means building marketing plans on recent results, measured in days rather than data that’s six months to two years old. And incorporating that data into weekly plans can help us see into the future, forecasting trends that help marketers determine the optimal spend by channel with a prescriptive week-by-week plan. And they can update that plan in-flight to continuously adapt and improve.

These tools not only mean more successful campaigns in the present, but also give greater insights into the future, so marketers can plan more strategically than ever before.

For more information about the future of marketing decisions, check out the white paper, “How to Make Better, Faster, Smarter, More Profitable Marketing Decisions.

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